Attica Residents are Suing Hillcrest Industries

October 12, 2012 Updated Oct 12, 2012 at 8:29 AM EDT

By WKBW News

October 12, 2012 Updated Oct 12, 2012 at 8:29 AM EDT

ATTICA, NY (WKBW) -Nearly 150 people living in Attica will be represented by Attorney Richard Lippes, known for his handling of cases during the love canal environmental disaster in Niagara Falls.

The lawsuit targets Hillcrest Industries where a pile of materials caught fire last summer and has been sending out an obnoxious odor. Many worry the air is now tainted and is making them sick.

This latest development follows a story you heard first here on Eyewitness News Thursday, when several students at Attica High School claim they became sick from the stench after a fire drill at the school.

"I started getting a headache and people said it was gross. The teachers were covering their mouths and noses and coughing," said Jenna Montegomery.

"We had some students go home and several parents called saying their children had headaches and nausea... not unusual after being exposed to a strong offensive smell," said Superintendent Bryce Thompson.

Lippes tells the Batavia Daily News that he expects more people to join in on this lawsuit. He says his main objective is to make sure this problem is corrected and never happens again. He did not say how much money he is seeking in damages.

Contractors working on the fire say more than half of the blaze has been extinguished, but say more plumes of smoke will be present during the process.

As for Attica schools, administrators say they continue to keep windows shut and have turned off the ventilation system to keep the smell out.

That lawsuit will be filed with the State Supreme Court in Wyoming County.